Kidskin II moles and genes: investigating the genetic epidemiology of Melanocytic Naevi in children

Matthew Legge

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

[Truncated abstract] This PhD project investigated the genetic epidemiology of melanocytic naevi in children of European ancestry between six and twelve years of age. Longitudinal and cross-sectional analyses were conducted to examine the association between counts of naevi on the back, face and arms, and selected single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of candidate melanoma susceptibility genes. Cutaneous malignant melanoma is a serious public health problem in Australia; the incidence of this cancer has been increasing steadily for many years here, and in other predominantly fair-skinned populations around the world. If diagnosed at an early stage, melanoma can be treated with a high level of success by excising the tumour. However, melanoma is resistant to radiotherapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy, and the prognosis is usually very poor if the tumour metastasises. After age and sun-exposure, having a large number of melanocytic naevi is the strongest and most consistent risk factor for melanoma. It has been hypothesised that naevi may be precursors of this cancer. Therefore, investigating their causes may give an insight in the aetiology of melanoma. An understanding of genetic effects and their interaction with the environment in disease processes may lead to the development of better preventive interventions. The current investigation was built upon the data collected by the Kidskin intervention study conducted in Perth, Western Australia between 1995 and 2001. This was jointly carried out by the University of Western Australia and Curtin University of Technology. The primary aim of this previous study was to investigate whether a school-based programme encouraging children to reduce their exposure to intense sunlight would be effective in reducing the number of naevi that they develop...
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2011

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